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Monday, October 11, 2010

Ban Tong Luang- Mix Hill Tribes Village @ Chiang Mai

Next stop- Baan Tong Luang Mix Hill Tribes!

I have seen much of the Karen people (also known as Kayan or Padaung) from television documentaries and magazines with different versions of origin and mythologies and here's my sharing.

The Kayan/Padaung are the Tibeto-Burman minority ethnic of Burma (Myanmar). They are the group of women that wears brass coil rings on their neck. It was explained by our tour guide that, during the olden days, when the king sees an unattractive women, their heads will be chop off! And hence, the ladies are wearing the brass coil rings on their neck as a protection.

Am not so sure how true it is, but it's kinda ridiculous. The other mythology I have heard - the brass coil rings protects the ladies from tiger's attack!

Hhhmmmm..... I should trust our tour guide!

In the late 1980s and early 1990s during the conflict within the military regime in Burma, the Kayan and the other tribes ran to the Northern Thai border area and lived with illegal status. It was then after that the Thai governments had a place for the mix hill tribes.

Baan Tong Luang village is a cultural preservation project. The village was opened to public in year 2005. The purpose of the project is to preserve the old hill tribes culture and to provide income for the hill tribes people.

We were all excited before our visit, caught a sight of the Long Neck Karen (Kayan) tribes and The Big Ear (Bakayo) ribes, eyewitness their lifestyle and left the village feeling bad and pity for them...


The Long Neck Karen


They earn a living by selling artwork and souvenirs to the tourists.


Us with them

We were told that, with the brass ring coils, the woman's life span is shorter than the normal people......

And why?? I asked the tour guide, do the kids actually have a choice not to put on the brass ring coils.....

Question left unattended...

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